Japanese distiller aims to revolutionize whiskey drinking, focus on new generation of drinkers.
Suntory’s sales soar after rolling out “highballs”, or whiskey with a slug of soda in a pint glass (or can!). This new found popularity of whiskey is bringing with it new watering holes that specialize in whiskey, and lowering the average age of its sipper in Japan. The article is interesting, though funded by Suntory it leans their favor, you may appreciate the tour of “Whiskey Bars” in Tokyo the video presents. From the article:
The Japanese have long been committed whisky drinkers, and until recently that meant holing up in a small, dark den designed for serious drinking. But the country’s leading distiller has been revolutionising drinking culture with the aid of a pint glass and a more than generous slug of soda.
The whisky highballs introduced by Suntory, the privately owned Japanese drinks conglomerate that has the lion’s share of the country’s whisky market, seem to have worked. Sales have been up more than 10% a year over the past three years.
The group’s Yamazaki distillery on the outskirts of Japan‘s imperial city, Kyoto, is the home of Japanese whisky and this year is celebrating its 90th anniversary. It is often forgotten outside Japan that as well as importing large quantities of scotch, the Japanese make their own malts. Indeed, more than 80% of the domestic market is accounted for by whisky produced in Japan. As in the UK, whisky drinkers were by tradition male and relatively old, but targeting younger drinkers with the highball has changed all that…